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Surbana Jurong inks memorandum of cooperation to develop New Clark City in the Philippines

SURBANA Jurong has inked a memorandum of cooperation with Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to develop New Clark City in the Philippines.

New Clark City has been touted as the first "smart, green, disaster-resilient city", and is among the biggest projects in President Rodrigo Duterte's ambitious eight trillion peso (S$204.8 billion) "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure programme.

It will be bigger than Manhattan when completed in 30 to 40 years, with a population of some two million, and is expected to contribute about 1.57 trillion pesos per year to the Philippines' national economy.

Under the agreement, Surbana Jurong will assist BCDA and JOIN in drafting the development management framework, design standard guidelines and environmental guidelines to complement the masterplan of New Clark City, it said in a joint statement on Monday.

The Temasek Holdings-owned company will also help in utilising public-private partnerships to entice investors to New Clark City.

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In addition, Surbana Jurong will advise in the implementation plan of pioneer developers in New Clark City such as Filinvest Land, Inc's mixed-use industrial real estate developments, and MTD Capital Berhad's National Government Administrative Center.

It will establish the framework of a smart city concept that will have fully integrated infrastructure and utilities for power, water, sewerage, information and communication technology, security, and traffic management.

Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine said that the group will leverage its 50-odd years of urban and infrastructure development expertise and its global capabilities to manage the development of the city.

He noted that New Clark City has "tremendous potential", and that the transformation of the area will bring about sustainable growth and create jobs locally, and ultimately bring about long-lasting economic and social benefits for the country.

Meanwhile, JOIN president and chief executive Takuma Hatano said that the Manila-Clark Railway (PNR North Railway) project - as part of efforts to develop New Clark City - will immensely benefit commuters, cutting down travel time from Manila to Clark in an hour, from the current two to three hours.

The 106-kilometre alignment will connect Tutuban, Manila to the Clark International Airport and New Clark City. It is designed to accommodate around 350,000 passengers per day. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2021.

The 9,450-hectare New Clark City is envisioned to be a new metropolis that will rise in the Clark Special Economic Zone, in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac.

It will feature mixed-use real estate developments for housing, a business continuity centre that would also house national government agencies, an agro-industrial park and an international food market.

The city will have wide pedestrian lanes, exclusive bicycle lanes, and an integrated mass transit lane.

The first phase of the project is slated to be completed in 2022.

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